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Our company has a private GitHub repository for the project I'm working on. After a full summer of work, it looks like we'll be launching this week (wheee!). However, I want to include a "submit a bug" link in the program that leads to a form somewhere where the user can fill out a form that becomes an issue for us on GitHub. Googling around hasn't found any solution (or someone who has the same problem).

Is this possible (through some API, perhaps?) or will I have to manually enter the bugs my users report?

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Not an answer as it is just links, but the Github API is what you are looking for. Specifically Creating Issues. If you do do this, it would be nice if you came back and added an example with code on how to use it. – Jacob Schoen Aug 1 '12 at 17:53
Also not an answer: Consider simpler form (lower barrier for the user) that just sends you an email. As you're just launching, any user who takes the time to file a bug report is probably somebody you want to engage with personally, anyway. Dumping them off to Github is actually a waste of an opportunity. – grossvogel Aug 1 '12 at 18:11
I think actually you should write that as an answer @JacobSchoe , since it's roughly a good approach, and currently the accepted answer here incorrectly tells people that the github API is "not going to help". – Harry Wood Feb 3 at 15:56
up vote 7 down vote accepted

I don't think the API is going to help you in this case. Because the project is private no one that is not logged in AND has access to the project will be able to do anything with the project, including creating tickets.

If you use the Github API you'll have to include the username and password to an account that is a collaborator on the project. Probably not a great idea.

Your next option would be to create a public project with a similar name, but without the code. Then you can use that project to track the external customer bugs.

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Good advice, thanks! – SomeKittens Aug 21 '12 at 13:08
It's quite common for a server-side script to authenticate with another system using private credentials. As long as the settings file with the password is kept secure somewhere, and your server itself is secure... this is standard stuff. Why "probably not a good idea"? – Harry Wood Feb 3 at 15:49

Someone on reddit created an open source Project called Gitreports where you can sign up and it will give you a unique URL you can give to your clients and they can submit bugs even to private repos without ever seeing code.

If this seems shady to you, you can host it yourself

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The Redmine turnkey linux appliance is available free for your own hosting or through the Amazon cloud (just pay and turn it on). Redmine allows for ticket submission through email, so you're users could have your users send in the tickets that way. Redmine also allows for anonymous users to add tickets, if you set up the permissions that way.

Since the appliance is a complete linux box, you can have a cron job or push notification that runs a script and adds the new ticket to the private github repo. The github API also allows for getting issues, so you could have the script keep the redmine box up to date too.

Personally, I'd just use the Redmine appliance by itself and have it monitoring the remote github repo.

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